Hundreds of owls are being abandoned across the country after being bought as pets by Harry Potter fans.
Awful, but this is nothing new. As noted later in the story:
The Harry Potter owl craze echoes that of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle film in the early 1990s, when thousands of unwanted pet terrapins were dumped in Britain’s rivers, canals and lakes.
Cahal Milmo at The Independent filed a story in 2010 about the long-term effects of the terrapin abandonment:
Conservationists have issued a warning that hundreds of boating lakes, canals and waterways in towns and cities are infested with terrapins and small turtles which were bought as pets while brightly-coloured babies barely bigger than a 50p coin but dumped by owners unable to cope as they grew to mature carnivorous adults the size of a dinner plate.
The trend began in the early 1990s when thousands of red-eared terrapins, each capable of living up to 30 years, were bought by young fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon.
Children’s entertaiment and animals are a dangerous combination.